Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Micro-Fiction is Real Writing

I’ve always enjoyed writing micro-fiction. First there was flash, stories under 1,000 words. Technically flash isn’t micro-fiction, but it was the gateway fiction that led me to micro. In other words, I tried it and I liked it. Next it was Six Sentences (http://sixsentences.blogspot.com/), stories that were exactly six sentences in length. They helped me to tighten my story arch even further.

After that came drabbles, stories of exactly 100 words. I noticed that many of the stories I was submitting to Six Sentences were right around 100 words, so a little tweaking here and there and presto! I had drabbles.

After drabbles, I discovered 55 words. It was a website based on a contest from the New York Times. That didn’t last long because they stopped taking user submissions, but still, I was able to tighten my stories even further.

Then came Six Word Memoirs (http://www.smithmag.net/sixwords/). I could say whatever I wanted to, as long as it was in exactly six words. There isn’t a submission/rejection process for this one, but they do highlight the best ones on their front page, and they even name a Six Word Memoirist of the Day.

Finally it was tweets, stories that were a mere 140 characters or less that could be posted on Twitter. I submitted several stories before my first tweet was finally accepted by Tweet the Meat (http://twitter.com/tweetthemeat). And this is what leads me to the point of my story.

Upon acceptance, I posted an announcement on my Facebook account, just like I do with all of my writing announcements. One of my friends posted a comment back that said, “That’s a good thing?”

In short, yes, it is. It’s not just a good thing, it’s a great thing! I had probably submitted 30 tweets before that one finally got accepted. But his comment highlighted what many may also be thinking. Well, as a writer, I write. Sometimes they’re tweets, sometimes it’s flash, and sometimes it’s a novel. The point is that I’m writing. And the micro-fiction is helping me tighten my prose. It also makes me submit and yes, get rejected. But that’s all part of the process. And it’s easier to have a tweet rejected because you don’t have the time investment in it that you have in a novel or even a short story.

So don’t let anyone tell you that micro-fiction isn’t real writing. It is. It serves a purpose, both for the author and for the reader. And if you get your micro-fiction accepted and published, it gets your name out there in front of a lot of people. So go on now, write that micro-fiction and be proud doing it!

~Doug McIntire


  1. Can you say that in six words, Doug? (that was 8)

  2. Micro-fiction is the new short story. (That was 6 :)

  3. *lol*

    Great post, Doug. The point about the tweets and time investment is well made. Soften the noes by receiving them in small doses over small creations.

    Pointing out the tightening aspect the micro-fiction has on larger works also helped me as a writer. Thanks for posting.